Lisbon Morning Burlesque


Burlesque. A group of trees grow out of a giant complex of burls, Lisbon, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 33mm, 1/6 sec, f/8.0, ISO 500.

My long-awaited photography tour in Portugal finally arrived!

It was a week-long tour, and is my usual practice I try to arrive a day early so I have a little travel margin. My hope was to arrive mid-afternoon in Lisbon so that I would have a couple hours of daylight left to explore the city on foot and then continue the following morning. As it happened, the Lisbon airport was fogged in much of the day so we sat on the tarmac in London for two hours and by the time I got to Lisbon there wasn’t any daylight left.

The following morning, however, went off as planned. I got up, had breakfast, and wandered from the hotel about three miles down—well, up and down, since it’s pretty hilly—to the waterfront through the historic Alfama district. I made the best use of time that I could by arranging a late checkout from the hotel, but I obviously needed a couple days, not a couple hours.

I had it on good authority (basically, the Portuguese lady who sat on the plane next to me) that Lisbon was safe, but I started to wonder as I walked through fairly deserted Saturday-morning streets where many of the buildings were what I would generously call tired. There was a touch of mist and fog in the air, which at times gave things an uneasy feel, as well. In any event, I was carrying just my camera with one lens and was stopping frequently to take a picture or two, minding my own business. At one point, the young man below came up to me and said he wanted me to take his picture. Not knowing what else to do, I obliged. I didn’t even bother changing settings and just took this one frame, but it turned out pretty well. That’s a good thing, because he then came over to look at it on the back of the camera. He gave a huge smile and pedaled off. Obviously, I am clearly not much of a classic “street” photographer when the subjects have to approach me to get their picture taken!

Wheelie. This young man requested I take his picture, so I did, Lisbon, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 31.5mm, 1/45 sec, f/5.6, ISO 500.

One of the classic Lisbon things is the little trolleys. This one has a lot of advertisements on it, but they are typically yellow:

Streetcar of Desire. A classic little Lisbon tram has plenty of riders on a Saturday morning, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 38mm, 1/45 sec, f/8.0, ISO 500.

The trackwork in the cobbled streets is also interesting in its own right:

Trackwork and Cobbles. Streetcar tracks in Lisbon, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 82mm, 1/15 sec, f/13, ISO 500.

Portugal is a place that seems to take its bakeries seriously, and this display was one of many that I passed on my walk:

Diet Zone. The plants may be fake, but the pastries are real in this window display in Lisbon, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 24mm, 1/180 sec, f/4.0, ISO 500.

I took a slightly different route back to the hotel from the waterfront, and passed a small park where there were a lot of colorful chickens:

Park Rooster. A colorful rooster perches in a tree in a Lisbon park, Portugal.
Nikon Z8 with Nikkor Z 24-120mm f/4 S at 120mm, 1/45 sec, f/9.5, ISO 500.

Finally, I should comment on the image at the top of this post, the inspiration for this week’s click-bait title. Trees with burls are always interesting, but this is more like a burl with trees. Finding interesting things like this is one of the joys of wandering around an unfamiliar place. And, after the discussions about image titles in the comments over the past few weeks, I am feeling rather smug about “Burlesque” indeed.

This post has a pretty random assortment of photographs, I admit. Next week I will feature some of my more usual subjects—doors, windows, and the like—from my morning walk in Lisbon. After that, I will move on to the meat of this trip to Portugal: waves and surf and rocks and beaches.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you will will enjoy the rest of this series about my adventures in Portugal!

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